Congratulations College 2022 Division I Conference Winners
by Paige Powell, USA Field Hockey’s College Content Intern
With post-season conference tournaments taking place this past weekend, USA Field Hockey is highlighting each conference champion in Division I.
Photo Credit: UAlbany Athletics
Winning the America East (AE) Conference title for the first time since 2018 is the University at Albany. The Great Danes played a tight game against Stanford that was decided in shootouts, with the final score being 2-1.
The Cardinal put up the only goal for almost all of regulation, until Albany’s Blanca Orsola lifted the ball into the cage with under three minutes to play to send the game into extra time.
Photo Credit: Atlantic 10/Thom Kendall
Saint Joseph’s won their fifth Atlantic 10 (A10) Championship title in six years. The No. 11 nationally ranked Hawks dominated Massachusetts in a 3-0 win, not giving up a single shot for the entire match. Lily Santi was named the Most Outstanding Player of the A10 Tournament.
Photo Credit: UNC Athletic Communications
North Carolina won the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title for the sixth consecutive year and 25th time in program history. The Tar Heels did it with a 3-2 victory over Virgina, bringing their record this season to 17-0. Midfielder Meredith Shoulder was named the ACC Tournament MVP.
Virginia put the pressure on in the fourth quarter – tallying two goals – but couldn’t muster the strength needed to tie it up. The Cavaliers had previously overcome a two-goal deficit against Wake Forest to defeat the Demon Deacons in overtime in the ACC Semifinals.
Photo Credit: Liberty Athletics
Liberty’s 3-1 victory over Old Dominion propelled them to a BIG EAST Conference title on Sunday. The Flames scored within the first two minutes of the match, while ODU didn’t find the equalizer until the final ten minutes. Bethany Dykema tallied the game-winner just three minutes later. This back-to-back conference title is only the second in Liberty’s program history.
Liberty made a big NCAA run last season – falling only to Northwestern in the championship match.
Photo Credit: Michigan Athletics
Coming up big with the Big Ten Conference title was Michigan. The Wolverines had to best No. 9 Iowa, No. 3 Penn State and finally No. 4 and reigning NCAA Champion Northwestern in order to claim their crown. The final score against the Wildcats was 2-1.
The title is Michigan’s eighth in program history, beating out Penn State for the most conference victories. Last season, the Wolverines fell to Rutgers in the B1G Championship match, but went on to receive a bid – eventually falling to Harvard in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Photo Credit: Delaware Athletics/Mark Campbell
Delaware comfortably cruised past Drexel 6-1 to clinch the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) title for the fourth consecutive year. This was Drexel’s first time back in the CAA Final since 2012.
The Blue Hens found themselves in the final after defeating Northeastern by the same score of 6-1 in the semifinal. The two tournament wins came against two opponents that Delaware had close games with in regular season play. Ashlyn Carr was named Most Outstanding Performer of the CAA Tournament.
Photo Credit: Princeton Athletics
Princeton earned their 27th Ivy League championship in program history, after defeating Brown, 2-0, two weekends ago.
Photo Credit: Mid-American Conference
Extending their win-streak to eight, Miami hoisted the Mid-American Conference (MAC) trophy on Saturday after defeating Appalachian State 3-1. It was Pena Martinez who scored all three goals for the Red Hawks.
Last season, Miami advanced past Maine in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, but could not make it past Michigan in a 3-2 loss.
Photo Credit: Rider Athletics/Maddie Boyd
Rider clinched the Northeast Conference (NEC) championship with a 2-1 victory over Fairfield. It was sweet revenge for the Broncs, who had lost to the Stags in the 2021 NEC Championship by an identical score. Freshman Valeria Perales tallied her 20th goal of the season in overtime to seal the deal.
The victory brings Riders total NEC titles up to eight.
Photo Credit: Lehigh Athletics
Lehigh made program history this weekend when they won their second Patriot League championship title (the first since 1994) and secured their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth.
After tight play and a 1-1 end to regulation, the Mountain Hawks needed seven minutes of overtime to secure their long-awaited title. Sophomore Guusje Hogendoorn netted the game-winner off of a penalty corner to defeat Boston University 2-1.